Old Coal cars?

AtomicVette Dec 10, 2009

  1. AtomicVette

    AtomicVette TrainBoard Member

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    I'm setting up a small mining layout, but I'm having trouble finding old looking coal cars. Does anyone make them? I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for, I kind of have a wooden car with maybe only two axles in mind... at least that's what I've got vaguely in my head..

    I plan on using the Model Power 1552 Old Coal Mine here it is:

    Model Power 1552 Old Coal Mine Kit N Scale - eBay (item 110467681363 end time Jan-07-10 03:07:04 PST)

    so something to go along with that basically..

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not sure if you mean actual rolling stock or details for your mine? N Scale Architect has a very cool series called M-Trak for to-scale mine track and 4-ton 2-axle carts, and a tow-motor/loco. I think they're pewter or white metal.

    Scroll down to the Lackawanna Coal Company kit
    http://www.thenarch.com/

    As for actual coal hoppers of that period to run on your layout, I'm thinking they'de be metal with 2-axle trucks
    http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/hopperhistory.html

    Either old style gondolas or off-set or fishbelly hoppers would be your best bet.
    I found this one from Bowser
    http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/6-37663
    [​IMG]

    It really depends what era exactly you want to model. If you really weather that mine kit you could get away with saying you're modeling say up to WWII, which would give you a lot of possibilities.

    Hope I was atleast of some bit of help
     
  3. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know what era a wood mine would be, but I would guess it was before hopper cars with bottom gates (but some gons had drop bottoms).

    I would probably go with a wood gondola. The only one I can think of off hand is the Bachmann Old Time 34' wood gondola as seen here on Spookshows site.

    Now he says that they are only available in a set, but I would think you could find older issues at swap meets or at auction.

    And another one found on that site is by RSLaser. They make a kit for a wood side gondola.

    The next step could be a 40' composite. Intermountain and Walthers (OOP) make one and Dimi Trains and Intermountain have a drop bottom composite.



    Jason
     
  4. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

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    American cars have always had double bogies except for pre and post Civil War era, say circa 1870 to 1890. Even then, only the Denver & Rio Grande used that stuff becasue they were built with European money and only for a very short time (two axle stuff derails a lot).

    Trainworx makes a very nice grip bottom gondola that would work for you. Also consider that an ore mine (gold, lead, etc) would use box cars to ship ore out in bags.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    Old is a vague term - can you throw some dates out for us?

    Mark
     
  6. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, what is your era?
    The Pennsy hopper design pictured in a post above dates back to 1904.
    There were thousands of similar cars by 1910, at least on eastern roads.
    All steel drop-bottom hoppers came into use in the 1890's;though I think most or all had "clamshell" bay doors then.
    I have books with photos of wooden mines/tipples well into the mid 20th. century, and can remember still finding a few in PA. back in the 1970's.
    OTOH, that Model Power kit looks like it had been abandoned since the Civil War...
    (I know; we have a couple...<G>)
    Jim
     
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, Hopper cars were one of the first if not the first cars to be made completely out of steel. The nature of the loading and the way they were loaded had a lot to do with that. Wood just didn't hold up. That being said during the war composite cars of wood and steel were built to conserve steel for the war. I always thought these were older cars but that was not the case. Most did not last very long after the war and were either scrapped or rebodied.
     
  8. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    As Kiasutha correctly indicates, the first all steel hoppers appeared in the early 1890s, and almost overnight, the railroads bought quantities of them.

    There were some cars with hopper bottoms in the late 1870s. They resembled gondolas with hopper doors in the floor. Some, but not all, had higher sides.

    As was correctly indicated, thin wood would not stand up well to minerals, even coal. The thickness of the wood required would jack up the cost of the car, as well as make for shorter trains and higher fuel and water consumption, due to the weight of the cars. Recall that in the 1890s, the biggest things out there were 2-10-0s and 4-8-0s. The 2-8-0 had appeared only in 1873, or so, but it was the standard freight power of the time. What they could pull was limited, anyhow.

    The American Railroad Freight Car is a very informative book on the subject of nineteenth and very early twentieth century freight cars. From it, I learned that the tank car took its basic modern shape in the 1860s, and was metal, even back then.

    Funny thing about the nineteenth century car that Bachpersonn markets as a tank car: it actually bears a closer resemblance to a car that the Baltimore and Ohio used to transport coal in the 1860s and 1870s.
     
  9. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    Hopper construction eased into steel first with steel frames and wood sides etc.

    In the first decade of the 20th century some wood hoppers were being built at the same time as the 1st all steel cars:

    [​IMG]
    (Photo is probably late in this car's life - teens or early 20s)

    But as pointed out above, mines similar to that could be seen into the mid 20th century. So the answer for 1940 is different than the answer for 1920 which is different than the answer for 1900 and so on ...

    Until you give us a more specific time frame we can only offer "Shots in the Dark".

    Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2009
  10. LADiver

    LADiver TrainBoard Member

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    What about the MT 34' job?
     
  11. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    I think you need to define EXACTLY what kind of coal car you are wanting.

    Are you wanting a small car, usually two axles, that comes out of the mine head and transports raw coal into the tipple for washing, sizing/screening and loading? The car is narrow gauge(42" mostly), is just a box on wheels and is never used anywhere else but in the mine. As Jeepy84 states, N Scale Architect has exactly what you are looking for.

    If you are looking for coal cars to transport coal from the mine to market(industry, retail sales, & overseas shipment), two axle cars were never used in the modern coal transport system. You just couldn't load a enough coal into a car with two axles to make any volume shipment worthwhile. The list of different type of RAILROAD coal cars is a very large list. And is well covered in N-Scale.
     
  12. AtomicVette

    AtomicVette TrainBoard Member

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    I wish I knew what era I was after, but I don't. I'm not familiar enough with the older stuff. I had planned on using a Shay to do the pulling but it appears that they would have been used mostly in logging rather than coal hauling (at least that what I've gathered so far from my research) Or possibly a little 2-8-0 or 2-6-0 steamer. This looks similar to what I'm going for. I searched all lastnight for a picture that matched what I had in my head, but didn't find anything.

    http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showphoto.php/photo/114245
     
  13. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    Shays were used to lug coal. Western Maryland famously used them on the Chaffe branch.

    "Steep branches to coal mines occasioned several Shays on WM's roster, some aquired from coal companies and some purchased new. Number 6 was Lima's last Shay and the heaviest 3-truck Shay build." - George H. Drury, Guide to North American Steam Locomotives, Kalmbac Publishing, 1993.

    Shays are mostly a 20th century thing, so the Bowser Gla option would be good up to the 1950s. Many roads adopted the Gla design or bought them 2nd hand from Pennsy.

    Mark
     
  14. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

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    As N&W said, Shays were used in mining/coal service too; though logging use was more common and well known.
    (I know of one big Shay that was used as a switcher at a large paper mill in western PA.)

    The photo you show is of the Colorado & Southern 3' narrow gauge, probably sometime in the 1930's. BUT-change a few details & it could be the 1880's just as well.
    The coal car is a simple wooden gondola-basically a flat car with sides added, just like the Bachmann old time car mentioned earlier. Other than the East Broad Top in PA.,most narrow gauge roads still used a lot of coal cars of this sort right to their end.
    Unloading would be by hand (shovel work) or maybe some kind of bucket-loader or similar.

    By the 1880's,most RR's that hauled much coal were at least starting to use some kind of drop-bottom gondolas that were partly self-clearing but still needed some "rake & shovel" work. From there they progressed to wood and steel hoppers.
    If you are interested in "early" freight cars, that book Brokemoto mentioned is virtually the "bible" on the subject and a fascinating read...

    As mentioned, if you can narrow down the time & place, the "coal-nuts" here can help more.
    Unfortunately, N doesn't have a great selection of early rolling stock...
     
  15. kiasutha

    kiasutha TrainBoard Member

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    I'll give you what I can on the MT 2-bays 'till someone with more info answers-

    the "offset" side- when I was looking for hopper info, I found a couple sources that put the intro of this design at 1932; just over my cut-off point.
    That's for the offset type- not the specific MT model; but it's a start...

    the "composite" side-Looks older, but it's actually a World War 2 era car built to conserve steel. On some roads, they lasted quite a while; others re-built them as soon as possible. Memory says Pennsy got stuck with 500, and rebuilt them to steel after about 3 years.
    So you'd have to check the specific road...

    the 6-panel "ribside"-MT has painted this as just about every car of this general description made, but I remember reading somewhere that the specific prototype of the model is from the 1950's. Pretty late design for a 2-bay; but until the Bowser GLa and the Atlas fish-belly came along it was about all we had. "Pickin's" are still pretty slim from my point of view...

    Hopefully someone else can give you a bit more & correct me if I'm off on any of it.
     
  16. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    I'm doing 1870's ore car kits, because I couldn't find anything small enough to work with my Climax kits that didn't just tower over them. These are Virginia & Truckee Rincon cars - about 8 ton capacity each. These were pulled by 2-6-0's like the Atlas ones. They are standard gauge.

    Click here: V T Ore Car

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2009
  17. AtomicVette

    AtomicVette TrainBoard Member

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    awesome! That's almost exactly what I'm after.. this would be for a small local mining operation. that's kinda what I had in my head!
     
  18. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    By request, compared to the Atlas Shay:

    [​IMG]

    I have no idea how many it could pull, but it would be a lot! The cars are super light, being just resin, and need weight added to them.
     
  19. AtomicVette

    AtomicVette TrainBoard Member

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    wow, those are tiny! :)
     
  20. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Not wanting to unnecessarily create a new thread on old coal hoppers, I read something this morning in The Steam Era of Lehigh Valley by Chuck Yungkurth (c. 1991) that I wasn't aware of that I found interesting.

    I assumed that most 20th Century wooden side coal hoppers were USRA designs where wood was used to conserve on steel to assist in the war effort. This wasn't so in all cases.

    Long after war's end in 1929, the LV ordered several hundred 70-Ton Four Bay hoppers with composite wood and steel construction. Why so? It ends up that wet coal is acidic, which caused steel side and slope sheets to rapidly corrode. The LV determined that wood would be impervious to the corrosion and would be much cheaper to replace if damaged. The composite design was a durable solution and a great success.

    It wasn't until after WW-II that affordable steels with corrosion resistance were formulated. With wood having become expensive and suitable steels now available, in 1949 the LV began the rebuilding of these cars into all steel construction at their Packerton Shops. The result was a thoroughly modern-looking fleet (LVs 41000-Series) than went on to serve the road well for many more decades.
     

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